THE GENE JOHNSON COLLECTION OF COMPOSITION FIGURES WITH TINPLATE AND DIECAST VEHICLES
This collection was started in the 80's when Gene Johnson rediscovered some old Britain Soldiers that he had played with as a child. The discovery ignited an interest in the history as well as the technique for creating these "little men".
He began with just Britains, but after attending several shows and meeting Neal Crowley, who became a close and dear friend, his interest and enthusiasm for the craftsmanship of the soldiers began to expand. Together, the two of them started concentrating on Lineol and Elastolin models and thus created this fairly impressive and broad representation of these two particular manufacturers.
The name of Gene Johnson has since then been synonymous with Elastolin, Lineol and Tinplate as the owner of one of the most significant collections of these toys in the Americas. It is now some years since Neal Crowley's own magnificent collection made its way to Kentucky to combine the efforts of the two enthusiasts into one near definitive assembly.
There are few vast arrays of marching men here, because the name of Gene Johnson's game has been the finding of the many differences of style within each type of figure, so that what looks to be such a mass breaks down immediately into interesting sub-groups and changes of mould.
Here are accumulations of virtually every sort of subject in composition, from tinplate vehicles, horsedrawn or motorized, artillery, trench warfare, Romans, knights, Frederick the Great, the American War of Independence, Napoleon and his Imperial Guard, the Abyssinian War, the World Wars, the ceremonial and service dress of many countries and civilians, with animals, farms, zoos, hunters, Eskimos, Tarzan and fairy tales.
He has enjoyed not only gathering this collection together, but also the many friends he has met along the way. Sharing this interest with Neal made it all the more fun for both of them. The wish now is that others may enjoy Gene's army as well.
NOTES ON CONDITION
Composition figures are made of a sawdust and glue based plastic material which is pressed into moulds around a metal skeleton and lightly baked. Over the years, genuine composition figures tend to dry out further and develop hairline cracks. In the following lots, such cracking is taken as being present where acceptable to the overall condition of the paintwork. Where more severe damage has resulted from cracks, this is described in the lot concerned.
NOTES ON SCALE
Scale measurement is taken to be the height of a man from the soles of the feet (excluding the height of the base) to the crown of the head (excluding head gear) in millimetres.
The most frequent scales manufactured by Elastolin, Lineol and their contenmporaries, using the above definition, are:
large size - 90mm
standard size - 70mm
small standard size - 65mm
medium size - 60mm
small size - 55mm
smaller size - 50mm
miniature size - 40mm
These scales were not absolutely constant, especially between the 60mm. and 70mm. sizes, since bases and head gear can account for an extra 10mm., and some earlier 60mm. scale figures were continued into the later period when bulkier and more detailed 70mm. figures were standard.
VEHICLES, GUNS AND AIRCRAFT
A tinplate clockwork four-wheel Armoured Car 1